Thanks, Turkeys

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This one’s a quickie, I promise, but a necessary shout-out. Today, I am grateful that my kids don’t miss me one bit. I mean that in the best way. They are exactly where they want to be—hanging with their teammates and getting ready for the season. If it’s like in years past, they’re doing a little skiing, playing some football in the snow, eating like lumberjacks, laughing a lot and hopefully doing the dishes. All this joy and total lack of homesickness is only possible through the generosity, hospitality and overall bring-it-on fun-lovery of the ski and ski racing community.  

For ski racers past a certain age, Thanksgiving is nearly always an away game. In fact, for me, being at home for Thanksgiving felt like a penalty shot. It meant I was either hurt, slow or otherwise unprepared to be race-ready. Being on our game, meant being in Colorado or Austria or France or wherever there was snow and imminent competition. Our team might take over a condo or a hotel kitchen or a restaurant dining room, or if we were really lucky, fold into a household. Rather than feel like strays, these places and people made us feel like welcome guests and extended family. I remember these gathering as some of my best Thanksgivings, devoid of weird tensions and rigid traditions, but full of meaning, humor and love.

We all made an effort to scrounge up the best clothes in the suitcase, and—bad perms and teased hair in place—prepare something that reminded us of home. Nobody cared that the turkey wasn’t juicy or the banana bread was the consistency or rubber or the cranberries weren’t really cranberries or that the pie was actually strudel. What mattered was being together, and making the effort for this one day to sit down together and reflect on how grateful we were to be able to do this thing we loved, in this company. These remote Thanksgivings with teammates, and hosts we barely knew at the beginning of the evening but felt like old friends at the end of it, were vivid reminders of the support crew who kept us running.

Recipe? Nahhhh

Today I am enormously grateful for that support crew. It includes ski Moms and Dads and friends cooking and hosting and surrogate parenting for all the kids who aren’t at home for Thanksgiving. It’s also the coaches, techs, docs, therapists, race crew, and so many more who keep the wheels spinning to get the season rolling. All of you are serving up a heaping dose of comfort to remote mom’s like me, and reminding us that this nutty pain-in-the-ass sport has brought extraordinary people into our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you making an away game feel like home. If I ever happen to be where winter is on Thanksgiving, there’s room for you at the table.  

Racers Ready

4 thoughts on “Thanks, Turkeys”

Comments are closed.